Krita project : an old challenge won

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A part of the Krita team at the Krita Sprint 2011, Amsterdam in the Blender Institute. Photo Dmitry Kazakov
From Top left to bottom right: Adam Celarek, Silvio Grosso, Silvio Heinrich, Sven Langkamp, Boudewijn Rempt, David Revoy
José Luis Vergara Toloza, Dmitry Kazakov, Cyrille Berger, Bugsbane, Timothée Giet, Matus Talcik, Lukáš Tvrdý.

As you probably know I switched since 3 month mostly all my digital painting workflow to the open source Krita. The new Krita 2.4 will be out really soon now ( by the end of month ). So, in a near future,  everyone will be able to install it with the regular package manager of his/her Linux distribution. Very exiting time to know it because Krita 2.4 is in my opinion ready for production work. But to reach this quality, the Krita team worked really hard. So, I wanted to blog a bit about an old Krita challenge and my relation with the project. Back on a bit of history ....

The not so old time

Remember the relatively not so old 'Sintel era' and how Krita looked at this time ?  At this time ( around 3 years ago ) I used only Al.chemy, a branch version of Mypaint around 7.0, and Gimp-painter 2.6. I used this ones not because I knew only this ones ; no , I tested every solution available at this time, and this workflow was the only way to got my painting done. 
At this same period, while the Sintel movie project started to get a little bit more popular I received an email from the Krita team asking why I didn't used their software.Krita. At this moment ( around version 2.2 ) Krita was far from my requirement, and I answered to this email my criticisms of what didn't works for my usage.

A challenge started

 To my big surprise, I was very honored to read in our email discussion this full article :  http://www.kdenews.org/2009/12/02/krita-team-seeking-sponsorship-take-krita-next-level ; I also received in my home studio Cyrille Berger who -by a good luck- worked on the same french city as me at this time. To quote from this article  link above :

"Lukáš Tvrdý : It was about that time when I got in contact with David Revoy. He's the concept artist who has been working with the Blender team on Project Durian: their latest open source movie project. I asked him for his opinions on Krita to get some feedback from a professional. I like when people use my applications, and David has plenty of experience with various tools like GIMP and MyPaint. His opinions seemed very valuable to me for making Krita ready for actual users. ... He was willing to provide us with feedback on the issues he bumped into. So that's when we decided we should put a strong focus on getting Krita ready for him. If he can work comfortably with Krita, so will many other users, both casual users and professionals. ( Dec 2009 )"

So, at first I tried to be around the project , mainly on IRC reading the mailing list and trying to build weekly Krita, to bring test and feedback. During long period I launched Krita only once a week after my work just to try a speedpainting and see the improvement, comment about them. Then with time and after a lot of very cool features added by brillant developpers , I started to have a workflow including Krita in my tool set. At first , just to open a picture and take advantage of a unique Krita feature. Then more and more with bringing feedback, and with helps of other testers around Krita started to become more and more dominant to my workflow. 

"Getting Krita ready for him"

I'm back from Mango 4th open movie pre-production where the Krita team did a wonderfull job remotely ironing bugs for 2.4 or including small workflow accelerators for storyboarding. For Mango concept art and storyboard I used mainly Krita 2.4 beta. And so, recently chatting about it and how good was Krita nowadays , Lukáš made me remember of this old 'challenge' from 3 years ago. So , congratz Krita team ! you won it !

2.5 started

Since last week the development of 2.5 started, and after month of bug fixing for 2.4, it's good to see again Krita open to new features. It's make me think to maybe start to blog post about new features here and redo short video tutorial  because in less than a week Krita got the Composition layer done by Sven Langkamp , and Boudewijn Rempt is also working on making textured brush ( http://www.davidrevoy.com/index.php?article107/textured-brush-in-floss-digital-painting ) . Mypaint also grew a lot, but not a lot of communication is done around. Here I will continue to stick to the 2.5 development and gives feedback and bugreport.

Every helps are welcome about testing and giving feedback ; it's almost impossible for the actual amount of tester to test everything in real time. Most of us ( me including ) test only the feature we use for our work or hobby. So cool if you can join around IRC, the forum, or the bugtracker to help the team increasing the quality of Krita.

Time for a next challenge ? ;-)


25 comments

  Anonymous - Reply

I'm gonna be honest, that is kind of infuriating. The idea of those guys pandering to a poor artist who managed to get sort of known in the tiny opensource art software world is insanity. Don't they care about, I don't know, OTHER users?

  David REVOY OP , - Reply

@Anonymous : Thanks for your honnesty.
But I'm gonna be honnest too "OTHER users" ? It's 3 year I use only 2D open-source software , and I'm still the only one to use it for a professional activities and to communicate about it. Most of other are hobbyist or testers. Krita have a 'professional' target.
So, stop your jealousy ; put-off finger from your ass and come help us instead hidding behind an Anonymous nick to have enough balls to be 'honnest' ...

  Romuald - Reply

Merci pour votre travail à tous.

Je suis graphiste et dans la partie freelance de mon job ainsi que pour mon association Zaclys, je n'utilise que les FLOSS. Inkscape, Blender, Gimp, MyPaint (dont j'ai suivi l'évolution ici) ou encore Kdenlive sont parmi mes favoris. Étant sous Ubuntu, j'ai toujours trouvé Krita un peu lourd mais je fais régulièrement de nouvelles tentatives. Après tout Kdenlive fonctionne très bien sur cette distribution à présent. Et ce billet me donne très envie d'installer la prochaine version!

Pendant que je suis ici, bravo pour votre première vidéo sur Mango. Ça laisse présager un court métrage vraiment géant encore cette année.

À bientot

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hi Anonymous...

If you make yourself and your needs known to us, well, we'll probably be pretty interested! I agree with interaction designers like Peter Sikking that just doing whatever a single user asks for isn't a recipe for good application design, but that's not what we've been doing. We've just been very responsive to actual needs for digital artists -- whether it's David Revoy, Timothee Giet, the Morevna guys and others.

We care primarily for artists who care for free software, because, well, those are the people who help us improve Krita! Look at it as a kind of tit-for-tat :-). For us, as developers, we get our kicks from two things: the seeing the awesome stuff done with Krita and getting to know the artists, and hacking on the software itself.

  Month - Reply

Hi David,
Thanks for the heads up about krita :) Thanks to you (and your chaos and evolution dvd) I've mainly used mypaint and gimp painter. Now that you recommend krita, guess I'm going to give it a try as well :)

  Brett McCoy - Reply

I tried Krita a few times, but there's an issue on Ubuntu 11.04 & wacom tablets (left weird streaks and lines) that made it unusable. The recommendation was to downgrade the X server but it seemed silly to do that for a single app. I've upgraded to a Cintiq but haven't tried Krita with it yet. Has this issue been resolved for Krita, do you know?

  Erik Josué - Reply

hello David!

I was thinking that you and the MyPaint guys (because of this post) had a very close interchange of ideas to develop and focus this software in the best direction:

http://mypaint.intilinux.com/?p=505

To be really honest, I consider you a really professional, your opinion and the softwares that you use quickly has one of my eyes in touch (and I sure many others artists thought something like this) , because you has been doing great things with this tools in the projects that we love :)

I wish see some new DVDs/tutorials involving at all Kirta of course! I bought some thime ago you DVD Chaos and Evolution and was amazing the things that are in consideration for an artist ( the only one thing was that we can't hear you opinion in realtime directly from yur voice XD )

Well right now I'm finally I'm testing Krita!! did you know if is possible change the coordinates of the vertical and orizontal mirror (for doing a character sheet)

Greetings

  Marco - Reply

Is there a way to have custom shortcuts like in Gimp?

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hi Marco,

Certainly -- go to settings/shortcuts and you can reconfigure your shortcuts.

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hi Brett,

I'm afraid that Ubuntu is really good at messing up tablet support. It's really not a bug in Krita, but in the underlying X11/Wacom/Qt stack as patched by Ubuntu. The good news is that 11.10 seems to be quite ok, as far as tablet support is concerned.

But I have to admit that I'm not a Ubuntu user myself, I've been using OpenSUSE for quite a few years now to develop Krita on.

  n-pigeon - Reply

Great job! Congratulations for the whole team!

Well, I consider my self more as Gimp user target, but Krita surely will be part of my pipeline in the future.

Kepp it up!

  Franck B - Reply

Merci David pour ces nouvelles.
Il serait intéressant d'avoir une version de Krita autonome (sans la suite Calligra/Koffice) aussi bien pour GNU Linux que pour Windows.

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hi Franck,

Krita won't be able to run without the Calligra libraries, which provide the vector editing capabilities, the file format filters and much, much more. It's the platform we've built Krita on -- but on Linux you can install Krita without installing any of the other Calligra applications.

For Windows, we want to create a standalone installer, which would of course also include the platform libraries.

  Ludovic Pinelli - Reply

(please excuse my bad english)
I'm completly beginner in digital art. I carefully follow this blog (thanks David for it, for the really great tutorial DVDs, and for your inspiring work in general), and I'm very interested by Krita for this simple reason : I'm alwas confused by the fact I need to use several softwares for their particularities, or even fork version of one to be able to create confortably.

It seems that Krita is becoming the software where all the process can be done and even more. I'm working on a Windows system but I still installed it and at my very little level it works quite well for the moment :)
The only things missing for me is documentation and tutorials !

Anyway, thanks a lot for your hard work !

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hi Ludovic,

There's a very nice tutorial dvd on Krita available from http://www.krita.org, or you could wait a week or so when you can download it using bittorrent. When 2.4 is released, we'll also make the dvd available for free download!

  Home - Reply

Hey guys, just make sure that the Windows version is good :) also...

  Boudewijn Rempt - Reply

Hey Home...

I think that there's a beautiful task for you there :P. For a Linux developer, Windows is beyond awful to work with! We so need help there.

  Anna Lina De Sario - Reply

I just read the post by Anonymous and I have no words to express my disgust for these people that infest the web with their presence. Blah...
However, in my opinion, I can only thank David Revoy that allowed me to test my creativity in terms of digital Art, premising that for me it's just a hobby.

  Niva - Reply

For Anonymous, it's kinda easy to lash out at your post the way it's worded. It was seemingly a bit mean spirited of you to say it so. The developers have to cater to just about any potential users, for them mypaint and Gimp are competition, and they're trying to get honest feedback... which they got from David here, and went off and worked on improving their software.

I've for one never even bothered with Krita except briefly a few years ago. These posts are much appreciated because now I will go out and try it when the next opportunity comes up.

It's good to know there's a software package making big improvements out there worthy of production work. Good for the Krita team, I'll give it another go!

David keep on with art and your informative articles. I'm signed up for the feed so I read them all even if I don't comment often. You're a motivation with your free software though... thank you!

  Giovanny Arce - Reply

Hi David, love all this amazing work you guys are doing, cheers, always following your work.

  Brett McCoy - Reply

Since I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10, Krita works perfectly now (no weird lines). I've been 2.4 testing out and it's extremely versatile and *very* stable. I love MyPaint and Gimp Painter, but having the best of both in a single application, plus with better color control, CYMK, etc etc etc... I think Krita is the winner here! Nice job, David and Boudewijn

  Reaper - Reply

Seeing FLOSS programs come along like this is just amazing. I remember when those who worked with linux didn't have this much to work with in art department. Now we have the MASSIVE improvement that is Krita 2.4, Mypaint 1.0.0, Inkscape and soon we will have Gimp 2.8 and a compatible GPS for it. Krita team, Gimp team, Mypaint team, David Reroy, Ramon Miranda and others who have made the possible, you have my eternal gratitude.

  Aman - Reply

No doubt that with slight improvements,Krita will rule the painter's world.
Krita 2.5.9 has mainly only one problem:The lasso tool.I want it to be as precise as in Adobe photoshop.Some Krita developers have revealed that they want to consider my request in next Krita versions regarding improvement in Lasso tool.I believe that they might have a better lasso tool in next versions comming somewhere in Jan 2013,as heard.
other than that its the best Painting app you can get.Krita Desktop is a bit difficult to use when it comes to Brush Dynamics but if you are a professional artists,then these Brush dynamics adjustments is for you.Go get Krita,ask for better lasso tool and after that,don't buy expensive softwares like Artrage,Howler PD,etc.

If you are looking something for fun and something lightweight but a balance of mid-professional software and fun to use software,then there is a new Krita category software called the Krita Sketch.Sketch has accomodate a maximum canvas size of 10000 * 10000 pixels.Whereas Krita Desktop goes further than Photoshop(Unthinkable canvas size).

If Lasso tool is improved,then there are negligible reasions why not to use only Krita as a panting application.Krita is mainly a sketching and painting app,not a Photoediting app.Krita is impressive.You can rarely get any other painting or sketching software,so good,so wonderful,so professional,like this for free as of now.

  David REVOY OP , - Reply

@Aman : Hi Aman, well received ; not a a good method to post duplicate copy/paste comments , I think it doesn't make your information more important. More the reverse in fact.

  Aman - Reply

Sorry for that.I thought that I want to share things with everyone,even with those who haven't seen other articles.

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